mon 04/03/2024

religion

The Most Precious of Goods, Marylebone Theatre review - old-fashioned storytelling of an all-too relevant tale

As last week’s news evidenced, genocide never really goes out of fashion. So it’s only right and proper that art continues to address the hideous concept and, while nothing, not even Primo Levi’s shattering If This Is a Man, can capture the scale of...

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The Good John Proctor, Jermyn Street Theatre review - Salem-set drama loses some of its power in London

It is no surprise that the phrase “Witch Hunt” is Donald Trump’s favoured term to describe his legal travails. Leaving aside its connotations of a malevolent state going after an innocent victim whilst in the throes of a self-serving moral panic, it...

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Surprised by Oxford review - wishy-washy romance ticks the sightseeing boxes

The misty streets and lofty spires of Oxford star in this adaptation of Carolyn Weber’s 2011 memoir, Surprised by Oxford, in which she finds God while studying for an MPhil in English literature.Perhaps wisely, director and co-writer Ryan Whitaker...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2023 reviews: Without Sin / An Alternative Helpline for the End of the World / Two Strangers Walk into a Bar...

With its throbbing crowds and its performers baying for attention (and for audiences), the Edinburgh Fringe can be a hectic, raucous place. But for anyone who needs a break from the crammed-full, in-your-face stand-up gigs, thankfully three shows...

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The Pilgrim's Progress, Three Choirs Festival review - revelatory performance by young musicians

Whatever your opinion of Vaughan Williams, it’s unlikely that you think of him as an essentially theatrical composer. Yet he did write at least three important (as well as several less important) works for the stage: a ballet (not so-called), Job, a...

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Album: Yusuf/Cat Stevens - King of a Land

Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ latest combines his apparently effortless immediacy at acoustic guitar songwriting with an orchestrated opulence that sometimes pushes the sound towards the realms of musical theatre. Lyrically, he’s in fine form too, but what...

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Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - Scrooge goes to Tennessee

We’ve had 75 years to get used to Scrooge McDuck, so we can hardly complain if the Americans indulge in a little cultural appropriation and send Charles Dickens’ misanthrope to Depression-era Tennessee for another whirl on the catharsis-redemption...

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Sons of the Prophet, Hampstead Theatre review - perfect mix of pain and comedy

Pain is, at one and the same time, something to avoid, and also something you can use. Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-American mystical author of the 1923 best-seller The Prophet, concludes that, despite suffering, “all is well”, but how true is that?...

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Here, Southwark Playhouse review - award-winning kitchen sink drama goes down the drain

The kitchen sink drama has been a standby of English theatre for 70 years or more, but not always with an actual sink on stage. But there it is, in an everyday home that harbours a secret or two in Clive Judd’s debut play, the winner of the 2022...

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Tammy Faye, Almeida Theatre review - Elton John's often dazzling new musical

I’ll confess to a certain schadenfreude when the American televangelists who seemed so foreign to us Brits were led away to be papped on their perp walks, ministers in manacles: One big name after another skewered on their own hubris, gulling the...

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Album: Witch Fever - Congregation

Witch Fever are a seething punk outfit from Manchester whose debut album rampages at the patriarchy with unbridled fury. The tone throughout is summed up in “Sour”, wherein grimy, gloomy riffin’ is accompanied by oblique references to Christianity,...

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The Two Popes, Rose Theatre review - sparkling with wit and pathos

It can’t have been an easy pitch. “Popes. Both foreign, yes. German and Argentinian – sorry, can’t change either. Eighty-something and the other’s a decade younger. Mainly just talking about their pasts and their different approaches to Roman...

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